GERARD Baron - Autograph Letter Signed 1828 recommending a German painter
Francois, Baron GERARD (1770-1837)
Autograph Letter Signed (“F. Gérard”) to an unidentified Baron, recommending Mr. Richter, a young German painter, admired by Alexandre von Humboldt.
1½ pages 4to with integral blank leaf, in French, n.p., 8 November 1828.
Gérard asks his correspondent to look with favour on [trans:] “. . . Mr. Richter, a young German painter who has already shown remarkable talent in his Art. He is leaving for Munich and would greatly value a few words of recommendation from Your Excellency. I have the pleasure of knowing for some years this worthy young man, whom Mr. A[lexan]dre de Humboldt told me recently he found worthy of note, and I assure you he is in every respect worthy of your protection. . .” Gérard signs himself as “P[ein]tre du Roi”, a position granted to him by the restored Louis XVIII.
Gérard was a protégé of David, who became one of the pre-eminent painters of the Napoleonic period. His portraits range from Napoleon himself, to Madame Mère, Caroline, Murat, Ney, Mme. Récammier, Mme. Tallien. After Waterloo, his sitters included not only the restored Bourbon monarchs, but also Wellington and Canning. Gérard’s immense historical painting of the Battle of Austerlitz was particularly appreciated by Napoleon.
The great naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt lived in Paris until 1827. It is possible that the recipient of this letter might have been his elder brother, the philosopher and diplomat Baron Wilhelm von Humboldt.
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